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Guest Post: What Amazon FBA Sellers Need To Consider

What Amazon FBA Sellers Need to Consider When Expanding Their Business to the EU

Why I Should Expand My Selling Activities To The EU?

There are five major Amazon marketplaces located in the European Union: Germany, UK, Spain, France and Italy. Using those fulfillment centers as inventory bases, Amazon fulfills to 26 countries within the EU. This creates a market with incredible 500 Million potential customers.

But even though those figures make it tempting to tap into the European market right away, careful planning in advance is crucial for a successful establishment of your market presence overseas. More importantly, rushing to action and neglecting compliance issues can have costly consequences for you and your business.

We recommend that you seek advice from experienced experts who will be happy to provide you with a professional initial assessment of your situation and further consulting upon request. Due to the enormous number of providers, however, it is not easy to find the right and reputable consultant or service. To solve this problem, we at Sermondo have developed a platform, tailored to Amazon FBA sellers, that guides information seekers like you to the providers that suit them and their needs perfectly.

What Happens If You Don’t Comply With EU Regulations

The European union is not joking when it comes to their laws and regulations regarding consumer protection. Non-compliance is being penalized with high fines and other legal measures.

We recommend to work through the following 5-step-checklist before engaging in any trade activities. If your answer to each of the following statements is “YES!”, congratulations: you are ready for Amazon FBA in the European market.

 

5 Tips For A Successful Preparation:

 

1) I have verified that my products are safe and comply with the corresponding EU-regulations

Before you start selling your products to the EU, make sure you comply with any given EU regulations that the authorities impose on sellers. In any case, the importer is fully liable for product safety and conformity, not the manufacturer. Please note that there are national, as well as supranational standards sellers got to meet. But there is no need to worry. Professional laboratory testing and product inspection services are available to help you verify your compliance with any given norm.

Here is a list of EU policy areas of product legislation’s that apply to all products that are imported in the EU:

Policy Areas of Product LegislationsProduct Groups
  • Food and Feed Safety
  • Plant, Animal & Public Health
  • Technical Standardization
  • Product Safety
  • Document, Packaging & Labelling requirements
  • Chemical
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceutics
  • Machinery & Technical Products
  • Animal & Plant Products

2) I completed the VAT Registration in each country I want to sell my products in

Dealing with taxes is the unpleasing, onerous part of doing business, but it has to be done. Every state’s government wants a piece of your revenue cake, and so do the European ones. It can be exhausting and time-consuming to gain an overview of new laws in different languages, especially when you want to enter a multi-state market like the EU. But it is absolutely crucial and inevitable to take care of your tax management. Not drawing enough attention to detail or, even worse, neglecting tax responsibility, can result in business failure due to staggeringly high penalty payments.

One way to handle all this red tape, is to participate in professional webinars and workshops on the regular or, more convenient, to hire a professional financial services provider. The main benefit of hiring a professional firm is that they know exactly what documents are required and are likely to have an established network for a fast and easy processing of your requests.

Pocket Knowledge VAT:

  • If your products are stored in an EU country, sold and shipped to customers based in that country, you are required to register for VAT in that country only
  • If you want to sell your products to customers from other countries than the country where your products are stored, you may be required to realize additional VAT registrations in the countries you want to sell and ship your product(s) to
  • As taxes are not harmonized in the EU, the amount of VAT that must be paid differs from country to country; it ranges from 17% in Luxembourg to 27% in Hungary
  • The VAT is an indirect tax: even though you (as seller and therefore taxable person) need to pay the tax to the financial authorities, the VAT is taken into account in your pricing, meaning it is included in the final price. Thus, it is paid by the customer.

3) My product labelling and packaging complies with EU & national regulations

Once you made sure that your products meet all the requirements set by the European authorities, it’s time to think about the packaging & labelling.

Packaging:

The packaging used for your products has to meet all requirements that were established for protecting the environment and the consumer.

Please note that there can be additional, country-specific regulations imposed by single EU member states. We recommend consulting an expert as they can check quickly and professionally if your packaging meets all national and supranational standards and if all possibly arising license fees have been paid. We recommend assigning all tasks related to those highly complex issues to a consultant firm specialized in Amazon FBA EU, as they are experienced and have topic-specific knowledge.

Labelling:

Every product that belongs to any of the categories listed below and is sold within the EU, must have a label containing the most important product information and the address of an authorised representative/importer from the EU. These guidelines ensure that customers receive all relevant facts about the product before making their purchase decision.

Product categories:

  • Fishery Products
  • Foodstuffs
  • Footwear
  • Energy-related Products
  • Meat Products
  • Textiles
  • Tyres
  • Wine And Certain Wine Product

 

4) My listings are available in the language of each respective country

Before offering your products, make sure that your listings and legal texts are available in the languages of all countries where your products will be available for purchase. If you decide to enter the five biggest markets of the EU, then your listings should be available in English, German, Spanish, French and Italian. It is absolutely crucial for your sales success that the translation is thoroughly flawless. The reason is that possible customers are likely to decide against the purchase of a product if its listing, product description or legal text is sloppy translated. In that case, they will consider the listing as dubious and therefore not trustworthy. So if you want to serve any EU market besides the UK, it makes sense to invest in a professional Amazon Listing Translation Service. That way you can be sure that your listings are proof-read and won’t contain spelling or grammar errors that could impair your sales prospects.

5) I have worked out individual SEO strategies for each single country

The last (but not less important) task on your checklist is working out different SEO strategies for your products. Yes, you’ve read that correctly: strategies, not strategy. One huge mistake sellers make is to assume that one SEO strategy will fit for every country. This is not the case; it is not sufficient to develop a single strategy and just translate it to other languages, because search patterns vary from state to state. This even applies to countries in which the same language is spoken, as is the case with Germany and Austria. Culture, dialect and emphasis on different product attributes are only a few examples of factors influencing search behaviour. But developing many different keyword strategies, optimizing your product listings and texts, as well as monitoring steadily working on your ranking, will take a lot of your time. Therefore, it is advisable to take advantage of a professional Amazon SEO strategy service to help you out perform your competition and boost your sales. 

 

 

We are aware that you just received a lot of information that you need to process first. However, if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the experienced AMAZON FBA professionals listed on www.sermondo.com. We will be happy to provide you with any information you may need. If you have comments, remarks or questions, please feel free to contact the Founder directly: tobias@sermondo.com

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